The City of Baltimore Health Department and Baltimore-based mobile care platform developer emocha Mobile Health will be launching a pilot program aimed at easing the burden of tuberculosis care monitoring on the city's provider community.

The health department will use emocha’s medication adherence app, miDOT, to help tuberculosis patients adhere to their medication regimen while also fulfilling CDC-required Directly Observed Therapy (DOT).

DOT requires a clinician to physically observe a patient take their medication every day for at least six months. This is resource-intensive, costly to the system, and burdensome for the patient. miDOT serves as a proxy for DOT. Patients use emocha’s HIPAA-compliant smartphone app, miDOT, to record themselves taking their medication at their own convenience. miDOT captures symptoms and securely submits the video to the emocha server, where a clinician can then observe and confirm adherence on the emocha web interface.

The procedure allows patients to self-manage their treatment adherence while reducing the burden on health departments by reducing in-person DOT demands, according to emocha.

“We believe that the miDOT app will increase the health department’s capacity to provide quality care for TB patients while freeing up clinician time for other critical TB control activities,” said Patrick Chaulk M.D., health department acting deputy commissioner for communicable disease.

emocha Mobile Health was spun off in 2013 from technology developed at the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education. Projects using the technology are currently being deployed and evaluated in a wide-range of healthcare, public health, and research programs in Uganda, Afghanistan and the US, with additional projects under development for Central America, India, Bangladesh, Zambia, and Ethiopia.

These diverse projects include community and home based strategies to optimize HIV counseling and testing, HIV treatment adherence, TB diagnosis and treatment, malaria prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, reduction of IV drug use, management of chronic diseases, and prevention of domestic violence.

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